The Self Employed Housewife – Diary of a foreigner – Book two Ch 5
Leather-work & Art
Somehow she wanted to express her searching mind in a more image driven way. Maybe she should get back to her drawings, or take up painting again. As she was hammering away at belts for Art in the Park, several creative ideas came to her. After her belts were done she needed to do some airbrushing work. Her African designs on leather were taking off. Every month she sold at least one leather wall hanging in addition to the usual belts, purses and something in her unusual gift lines. Lately she was looking for different projects besides what other leather-work stall holders did.
“Are you coming in, or do you want me to bring your coffee here.” Gosh was it already that late.
“No I will join you in the lounge. Sorry I got carried away.” She felt grimy and was looking forward to have a long soak in the bath while reading the book by T Lobsang Rampa that Pat had kept for her. Doctor from Lhasa had been printed long ago. She was fascinated by Lobsang’s story that continued with him living in Chungking, China.
Jan never took a bath now that he had renovated the bathroom by adding a shower. The bath was far too short for him anyway since he was over six feet tall. She on the other hand loved treating herself by having a glass of wine and some nibbles while reading her book. There was nothing to watch on the TV but it was just after nine, far too early to go to bed.
“I’m going to take a bath.” She said wearily
“Terrific, is that an invitation for me to join you?”
“Oh come-on you hate taking a bath, and I’m cold. I want to lie in hot water and read my book”
“OK I’ll clean up.”
She felt somehow guilty that she could rarely bring herself to suggest the going to bed part. Instead she hoped that Jan would already be fast asleep by the time her bathwater had cooled off.
Jan came in and sat on the edge of the bath; his eyes roving all over her. She didn’t feel she could reject him, and by the time she joined him in bed she knew they would have sex. She didn’t really want that at all but went through the motions, hoping it would be over as quickly as possible. It was a strange feeling; her mind was so distant from her actions. After it was all over she closed her eyes and it felt like she was floating above herself, detached from Jan, looking down at them both. Jan was already fast asleep with his arm was resting across her chest.
This Saturday Jan had no ships to attend to, so they planned to hold a braai in the back garden for the neighbors and friends later in the day. Jan loved doing the cooking in the back yard, so going to the drive in was out for this evening. Their new neighbors were bringing Potjie Kos. She was not all that fond of a stew cooked in a three legged cast iron pot over the open fire, but the man all loved it. Jan had given her a shopping list.
“Mommy is going shopping, who wants to come along?”
“Can we go past the pet shop?” Sascia asked
“We could, but I must warn you two, no more pets no matter how cute they are.”
“I’m staying with daddy, making a fire.” Jeroen decided.
Wow this was the first time that the girls would go shopping without the men. They had two hours to buy stuff for the braai, so she had an idea. There was a new clothing shop she had spotted last week next to the coffee shop. She would make their shopping a girls outing, but kept it to herself.
On the way she told Sascia her plan, and parked across from the pet shop. She would quickly go into the supermarket to buy boerewors (spicy sausage), lamb chops, chicken for her kebabs and wine.
Being flirted at
After dropping all the groceries in the boot (the trunk) she looked through the pet shop window and saw that Sascia was helping the shop owner feeding the fish.
A rugged but good-looking man about her age held Sascia up high so she could sprinkle fish food into the large fish aquarium holding tropical fish of all colors.
“Tell your mom what I told you about the fish.” He said, putting her down. He looked her over and winked at her. She could feel herself blushing. Sascia was babbling on about how to keep fish and it became clear to her that the apparent new owner of the pet shop had a passion for tropical fish, and was trying to inspire her girl to start a new hobby.
“Sascia next time we will spend more time looking at all the beautiful fish, but we now do not have that much time left. Daddy is waiting for the meat.’ The man kept flirting with her, but hearing that a daddy was waiting for them seemed to have broken the spell. New customers took his attention away.
“Come, let’s go and browse for some nice tops for us both, and then we’ll have an ice-cream next door. How is that? Just us girls.”
“Yippy, can I choose?” The new fish hobby was already forgotten. It was truly fun to be shopping with her not so little girl anymore. They walked out with T-shirts and some bangles made from African beads.
Keeping a secret
Jan took the meat out of the boot the moment she arrived home. He liked to marinate it for at least half an hour before cooking. They were both in the kitchen having a glass of wine while she prepared the salads and the kebabs.
“I’m sure we have far too much food. They will all bring their own meat as well.” She commented when the front door bell announced that people had begun to arrive.
The kids ran to let them in, especially the children. Sascia was already wearing her new T-shirt.
“Jan what do you think about our women having the time of their lives phoning home from a phone booth?” Jan’s expression was full of puzzlement.
Oh dear, she had never told Jan because she knew he would not approve. Jan had no time to ask her about it, because both husbands were already explaining how they themselves had tried it out. Thank goodness when the Afrikaans neighbours arrived carrying the cast iron pot, the phone booth adventures had done their round. Braai recipes were now being exchanged.
After her first free phone call from the call box to her mom and sister they went twice after that, but to a different phone booth. Just in case the telephone company was getting wind of it. Her last call had been cut short when suddenly a voice had interrupted her saying: “I know what you are doing.”
Knowing she had been caught doing something illegal they had all run away from the phone booth, giggling like naughty schoolgirls just in case a police van would suddenly appear. That was it. No more free phone calls.
Going to the drive -in
Sunday evening they went to the drive in to see the movie ‘Grease’ with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
Jan never questioned her anymore about the phone booth story. They had been chatting about selling their home in Rowallen Park to look for a home closer to town. The 30 to 40 min drive each day to the harbor was getting to be a pain, especially during peak hour traffic. She had always been attracted to an older suburb where there were big trees, so in the New Year after his parents had been for a visit they would approach an estate agent.